75 minutes; 16mm reel courtesy of Tim Hunter; 1 Oscar nomination, 3 wins
Produced by George Pepper (alias George P. Werker) and directed and co-written by Carlos Velo, ¡Torero! is co-screenwriter Hugo Butler’s (alias Hugo Mozo’s) first attempt at docufiction: Butler, who unlike Pepper became a fan of Mexican bullfighting, mixes documentary footage with Procuna’s reenacting scenes from his life in order to give viewers the impression that they are watching the true story as it unfolds. The film captures the gripping story of Mexican bullfighter Luis Procuna, from his boyhood and training to the triumphs that followed as he rose to the peak of his profession. It is one of the only bullfighting movies that audiences who despise the sport can appreciate on other levels.
¡Torero! was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film won a special Ariel Award, a National Board of Review (NBR) Award, and special mention in the Venice Film Festival. ¡Torero! was also selected as the Mexican entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 30th Academy Awards. New Yorker Magazine heralded ¡Torero! as the “Best movie about bullfighting ever made!”
This event is part of SFAI’s Visiting Artist + Lecture Series presents BREAKING THROUGH THE BLACKLIST FILM FEST: THE BUÑUEL-BUTLER-PEPPER TRIO.